Jobs in Lakewood, California, United States
Location and Population. Lakewood is a bedroom community in Los Angeles County, located on a flat coastal plain 10 miles inland from Long Beach and 25 miles south of downtown LA. Its population, estimated at 81,138 in 2016, is comprised mostly of Non-Hispanic Whites (37%), Hispanics (31%) and Non-Hispanic Asians (21%), with 22 percent foreign-born. Median household income is high, unemployment and poverty are low, and cost of living is reasonable.
Origins. After inheriting the Montana Land Company in 1926, Clark Bonner built the Lakewood Golf Course and Lakewood Village on converted farmland. In 1933, he developed but did not implement plans for another Lakewood community. Early in WWII, Bonner and other developers put up several assembly-line housing tracts for war workers (Mayfair, Lakewood City, Lakewood Gardens). After Bonner’s death in 1949, the company sold out to the Lakewood Park Corporation, which implemented the 1933 plans, putting up a large shopping center and 17,500 homes in record time between 1950 and 1953. Many returning veterans took out federal loans to buy their first home in Lakewood Park. In 1953, the city of Long Beach sought to annex the entire unincorporated area of Lakewood, but except for Lakewood Village, the move was opposed by a majority of residents in all other tracts and neighborhoods. They voted to incorporate as a separate city and on March 10, 1954 Lakewood came into being with 70,000 residents, 105 miles of paved and lighted streets, the Lakewood Golf Course, the Lakewood Shopping Center and cost-saving contracts for municipal services with Los Angeles County – a widely-imitated innovation still in use.
Economy. Many new homeowners in Lakewood were blue collar workers employed in the post-war aerospace and oil industries of Long Beach. Depletion of the oil fields and ending of the Cold War caused a drop in employment in both industries, starting in the mid-90s. Nevertheless, Boeing still remains the largest private employer, and some oilfields are still active. In addition, the expansion of global trade stimulated growth of the shipping industry and the Port of Long Beach is now the second-busiest in the U.S. and a major employer. The economic base of Lakewood itself is primarily commercial/retail, with almost 3,000 businesses located there today.
Character. Lakewood is a stable, older city which prides itself on community involvement, activities for families and environmental conservation. Many original residents and their offspring still live there, along with newer first-time homeowners. The city has many charming streets, lack of local traffic, easy freeway access, lovely weather and generally kind and caring people. Although at first neighborhoods were segregated racially, by the mid-70s the city was fully integrated. The housing stock consists mostly of the original tract homes. They have been well-maintained, and provide good quality for affordable prices. There is some gang violence imported from elsewhere, but sheriff patrols keep the situation under control.
What Makes Lakewood Special
Pan American Fiesta: A Lakewood tradition since 1945, established to bridge differences and celebrate commonalities between North and South America, held in May each year.
Lakewood Civic Center: Location of the Lakewood City Hall, the Center at Sycamore Plaza (a venue for large meetings and events), the Iacoboni Library, and the Sheriff’s Station.
Veterans Memorial Plaza: Commemorative bricks for veterans with a connection to Lakewood placed around the monument in Del Valle Park. SHOPPING AND FOOD
Lakewood Center: A shopping city since the 1950s, with one of the largest malls in southern California, and a hub for community activities.
SPORTS, RECREATION, OUT OF DOORS
Lakewood Parks and Recreation District : Manager of 10 parks 2 community centers,
2 senior centers, 1 equestrian center, 1 dog park, picnic and barbecue areas, 2 seasonal swimming pools, tennis courts, tot lots, after-school programs, community gardens
San Gabriel River Bike Trail: A 7-mile paved cycling path from Lakewood to the sea.
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